Added to Creative Stoke, 26th February 2011

26.02.11   
Today sees a free Social Media Cafe (10am-1pm) at Stoke-on-Trent’s City Central Library, Hanley…

“Are you interested in learning how to use the web in new ways for work and play? If so come along to the friendly Social Media Cafe. Includes tea and cake! Part of DATfest, which is going on all weekend!”

26.02.11   
Stoke-on-Trent’s City Central Library is to hold a one-day event for creative writers, based on The Staffordshire Hoard. This free workshop will be led by author Nick Corder, on Saturday 19th March 2011 (10am-3pm, bring your own lunch). The Hoard will be used as a springboard for imaginative writing. Many Midlands writers have been deeply inspired by the Anglian period of Midlands history, and have created major works — such as Auden’s The Wanderer, Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, and Geoffrey Hill’s Mercian Hymns. We are also lucky that a wealth of Old English storytelling and poetry has survived, from the epic Beowulf to the famous fragment of a poem about a sparrow flying through a mead-hall (Cædmon’s Hymn). At the end of the one-day workshop, it’s intended that you will have written the draft of at least one new piece of work. It doesn’t matter what it is — poem, playlet, story, monologue, song, mini-film, saga… the workshop attendees will get to hear all the pieces at the end of the day. It’s intended that Keele University will present your new work on their web site (if sent by email by 28th March 2011), and you will of course retain copyright.
Places are limited so booking is essential. To book please contact:  central.library@stoke.gov.uk

26.02.11   
Carole Baker is running a painting workshop in March. The three-day workshop on ‘Vibrant Colourful Painting in Acrylics’ will run from 16th-18th March 2011, at The Edmund Gennings Room in Lichfield. Cost is £155 for three days. A further workshop is planned for April, for… “watercolourists who wish to take their work a step further”. The full programme and contact details are available at Carole’s website.


Quiet Light : Cannock Chase (2010), by Carole Baker.

26.02.11   
Redstone Willows has announced its 2011 programme of willow-weaving workshops. The workshops are held at Alsager, and are booking now.


Willow sculpture created by Park Hall Nursery (Church Lawton) pupils and staff as part of a workshop led by Christine Redstone of Redstone Willows.

26.02.11   
Artist Adam James will be leading a workshop at Newcastle-under-Lyme Museum & Art Gallery on Saturday 26th March 2011 (12am-4pm), on Live Posters. This is a practical free workshop in which attendees will have the opportunity to turn a famous film poster of your choice into a staged tableaux vivant. Booking is essential. Full details from:  newgenerationspace@gmail.com

“Using camera trickery, forced perspective, make-up, props, prosthetics and lighting we will create a staged tableaux, which you will then film or photograph to take away. This workshop will give you the chance to dress up, make up, build props, be a director and have a go with a camera.”

26.02.11   
Stoke-on-Trent artist Kate Lynch is running a free workshop in Experimental Printmaking, on 19th March 2011 (11am–3pm) at Newcastle-under-Lyme Museum & Art Gallery. Booking is essential. Full details from:  newgenerationspace@gmail.com

“The workshop will outline print methods that require little specialist equipment with an emphasis on using inexpensive and readily available materials to produce effective results quickly. Explore what a print can be, using alternative printing mediums such as emulsion paint, inkjet transfers, and experiment with a range of papers, surfaces and backgrounds. You will be shown some basic techniques which can then be layered for more interesting results.”

26.02.11   
Artist Victoria Lucas will be running a free workshop titled Mapping the City: Audiovisual Workshop at the AirSpace Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on 5th March 2011 (11am -4pm). Booking is essential. Drinks provided, but please supply your own lunch. Full details from:  newgenerationspace@gmail.com

“This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn how to create a digital installation using video and sound. Through recording, editing, burning, and installing, the session will allow participants to work together to create a temporary artwork. Participants will be guided through the stages needed in order to create a work of multimedia art; from the beginning of the ideas process through to the final outcome. Victoria will present a selection of audiovisual works at the beginning of the session to inform and inspire. Each participant will then be given an activity, in which they will use digital technology in conjunction with their own ideas to create a new piece of work. The individual works will then be installed together, to make a larger artwork.”

26.02.11   
Jobs:  Local video company ST16 are hiring.


Added to Creative Stoke, 25th February 2011

25.02.11   
The EU-funded BUNS Great Minds Creative Network is finally set to host what it’s calling ‘Event No.1’. The Network had its big launch at Britannia Stadium in October 2009, after reportedly being funded with £1.3 million, but almost nothing has been heard of it since launch. The date for “Event 1” is 11th March 2011 (10am-2pm) at the North Staffordshire Conference Centre in Hartshill. Call 01782 844222 for bookings. No details of any speakers, yet. The organiser says…

“This is a chance for interested parties to register their interest for a large showcase event to be held in July” […] “Places are limited”.


Added to Creative Stoke, 24th February 2011

24.02.11   
The Technology Strategy Board has a new £200k contest, IC tomorrow. Digital entrepreneurs are invited to join this new Government-backed £200,000 effort to bring innovative UK applications and services to market. The Technology Strategy Board will invest £10,000 each in up to 20 consumer trials across creative market sectors including music, TV/film, publishing, and “wild card”. The competition is looking for genuinely innovative digital business models that open new markets, and that encourage new forms of digital content use. Application deadline: 11th March 2011. Approximately 40 applications will be chosen to go through to the selection panel. Full details at the website.

24.02.11   
Sarah Nadin of re:claim is running Art & Set Design Workshops in Stoke town, ahead of re:claim’s performance at the former Spode site in May 2011. These free and open workshops start this Saturday, 26th February 2011.


Click on the picture for the larger version.

24.02.11   
Black and Asian poets who write with a regional angle are invited to submit poems that focus in some way on region / locale / sense-of-place in the British Isles, for a new Bloodaxe anthology. Out of Bounds aims to create a new ‘map of poetry’ in Britain, and they are particularly interested in poems that directly or indirectly evoke a particular place, landscape, symbolic site, building, region, or city in the Midlands. The editors of the anthology are Jackie Kay, James Procter and Gemma Robinson. A maximum of five poems per submission are requested (these can be previously published or unpublished), and you should include a short biography (max. 100 words). Submission deadline: 15th March 2011. All work should be labelled with your name and title of work on each page, and should be sent as an email attachment to:  gemma.robinson@stir.ac.uk

24.02.11   
A new youth theatre company, The Young Rep, has been set up in Stoke-on-Trent. This is a spin-off of the adult group based at The Rep Theatre. Want to be part of it? They are set to audition for a performance of Kes, and open auditions will be held at the theatre between 7pm and 9pm on 9th March 2011. No experience is necessary. For more information, call: 01782 209897.

24.02.11   
Job:  Cheshire East Councils and Brereton Parish Community Interest Group are seeking to commission a public artist with a specialism in wood, to create a high quality permanent piece of art as a gateway to the Brereton Community Space development. For a full brief please contact:  jocelyn.mcmillan@cheshireeast.gov.uk

24.02.11   
Creative England is starting to emerge. Creative England is the major new national body that will support new production in… “film, videogames, interactive new media, design, and fashion”. They are currently running a consultation on Strategic Priorities for Film for 2011/12, which is available on their website. Responses from the film industry and film-makers can be made online until 31st March 2011.

24.02.11   
Added to the Directory:  Congleton artist Bruce Lyons has a new website at http://www.brucelyons.com.

Bruce Lyons
Autumn Frivolity, by Bruce Lyons.

24.02.11   
Susan Laughton, an artist based in Congleton. Susan is inspired by landscapes of dramatic moorlands and brooding/liminal weather.


Drifting 1, by Susan Laughton.


Added to Creative Stoke, 20th February 2011

20.02.11   
Well-known Potteries radio presenter Sam Plank has sadly lost his battle with cancer, aged 67. For those who wish to pay their last respects, but who can’t get to Burslem, Sam’s funeral is being broadcast live by BBC Radio Stoke on 21st February 2010.

20.02.11   
Laura, the editor of the forthcoming Prototype Magazine for creative students (age 16-24) in North Staffordshire, is interested in material from local students in creative writing, photography, fashion design, amateur dramatics, graphics design, or even activities “completely new and interesting”. Please e-mail Laura at:  prototypemag@gmail.com   Please include your name, age, location and what work you wish to submit. The theme of the forthcoming issue is “Neon”, and as part of this Laura has a Fashion Designer Competition with a difference…

“Remember the cut-out pages we had in magazines when we were little, where you cut out the clothes and stick them on to the cutout doll? Well, I’m hoping to create a similar thing in Prototype. If you fancy your chances at getting your designs published, please email me your designs at prototypemag@gmail.com. Please draw them as working drawings, indicate colour/pattern. Winning design will be published! Remember you are designing for either a male or female student — aged 16-24, this issue’s theme is Neon.”

20.02.11   
Stoke’s new vampire series Blood & Bone China now has a date for the premiere of the first episodes — 2nd March 2011 at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. And Episode One is pencilled in to appear online on 3rd March 2011 at 9pm.

20.02.11   
Julia Griffin is starting a new dance class at Stoke-on-Trent College’s Burslem Dance Studio, running from 28th February – 4th April 2011 (5.30pm – 7pm). Cost is £25 or £15 for members of the Staffordshire Dance Collective. The main goal of the class will be to emphasize the joy of dancing and to allow participants to find pleasure in movement. The course is suitable for dance artists, teachers, recent graduates or third-year dance students. Places are limited. To book please email Clare at:  admin@staffsdancecollective.co.uk

20.02.11   
Interested in digitising and using Midlands film & TV archives? “Home, Identity and Citizenship: Preserving, using and making a regional screen heritage” is a free one-day conference on 5th March 2011 (11am – 4.30pm), at the Margaret Street Campus of BIAD in Birmingham city centre. There will be screenings, presentations and workshops, and a special focus on film and TV materials concerning the popular music of Birmingham, and documentary material featuring workplaces such as Cadbury and BBC Pebble Mill.

20.02.11   
The Government has announced an increase in the Heritage Lottery’s share of Lottery good-causes income from 16.7% to 20% by 2012-2013. Now the Heritage Lottery Fund are asking the public what the extra annual £50m in cash should spent on. The online consultation is open now and runs until 26th April 2011.

20.02.11   
Lichfield Festival Chorus needs 100 singers to join the CBSO in a performance of William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, on Thursday 7th July 2011 at Lichfield Cathedral. This will be the opening night concert of the 30th Lichfield Festival. Chorus members will need to commit to regular rehearsals on Friday evenings, beginning on 6th May 2011. Singers should be fairly confident and will need to be able to read from sheet music, but all are welcome. There will be a limit on numbers in each section, as for this work a balanced choir is needed. Men are particularly needed. To register your interest in being part of the Festival Chorus this year please email Pam Easto at: education@lichfieldfestival.org

20.02.11   
Added to the Directory: Chris Godber, an abstract artist based in Congleton. Chris has a solo show opening on 26th February 2011 (7pm) at the Victoria Mill Arts Centre, Congleton. The show then runs until 4th March 2011.


“Combust 01” (2010) by Chris Godber.

20.02.11   
Added to the Directory: Jacki Clarke, of Congleton.


By Jacki Clarke.

20.02.11   
Added to the Directory: Bruce Lyons, of Congleton.


“Wreck” by Bruce Lyons


Added to Creative Stoke, 18th February 2011

18.02.11   
Jobs:   Brownhills school in Stoke-on-Trent requires a full-time Teacher of Art to cover a one-year maternity leave. The post will start on 6th June 2011. Full details from:  spemberton@sgfl.org.uk

18.02.11   
Jobs:  The nearby Peak District’s Borderland Voices is seeking community artists who can work with adults and young people (in schools & youth groups) during 2011. Application deadline: 21st February 2011. If you’d like to get involved please contact Andy Collins at:  andy@borderlandvoices.org.uk

18.02.11   
Bands are invited to apply now for a slot on the 2011 Buxton Fringe. The Underground has performance spaces, opportunities and a programme to suit all types of acts. Applications are open now, and remain officially open until 4th April 2011 — although late entries up until the 20th of April may be accepted. The Buxton Fringe’s Underground strand will run from 6th – 24th July 2011.

18.02.11   
Congleton’s Daneside Theatre and the SOL Theatre Summer School are set to present the Madness musical Our House in August 2011. If you’re a young performer who would like to be part of this show, information about SOL Summer School and application forms for a place on it can be had from Louise Carter via the website. The show will be rehearsed and produced on weekdays between the 1st and 12th August 2011.

18.02.11   
Bollington Arts Centre, in nearby Macclesfield, is hosting a talk by costume historian Gillian Stapleton of the costume performance troupe The History Wardrobe. “Fashioning the Past” is set for 25th February 2011 (2.30pm – 4pm), and tickets cost £6. For more information or to book tickets please contact Bollington Arts Centre on 01625 575 287.

18.02.11   
Uttoxeter’s Mayfest folk dance and music festival is looking for sponsorships, and also volunteers to help out in May 2011. Dance teams are also need for Sat 30th April and Sun 1st May. Interested? Please contact Dave Denny on:  07943 018457.

18.02.11   
Job:  Nearby Telford & Wrekin Council are now inviting artists to put in proposals for an… “exciting, appropriately themed, outdoor creative arts activity for event visitors of all ages”. The space available is 16ft x 14ft approx on hard standing. Application deadline: 21st February 2011. Interested? Application deadline is: 5pm on 21st February 2011. Please send your proposal, C.V., and any images by email to:  janice.williams@telford.gov.uk

18.02.11   
The museums and archives of the Black Country are inviting coders to their WAG Hack Day on Saturday 16 April 2011 (10am-6pm) at The Public in West Bromwich. The aim is to mash or filter the metadata that’s powering the new Black Country History website, a service which offers complete online access to records of the area’s arts and heritage collections. These can be created through an open API, although it’s limited to 100 requests per hour.

18.02.11   
Renaissance West Midlands and Open Culture 2011 are offering 10 event bursaries to staff at West Midlands museums and public-funded art galleries. OpenCulture is a two-day event in Birmingham, for those involved in museums collections management. Just write a statement of 250 words on how attending this conference will benefit both your own professional development, and your museum’s organisational development. Deadline: 18th February 2011.

18.02.11   
Added to the Directory:  Leek Writers Group now has a web page with contact details. The Group meets at The Swan pub in Leek on the first Monday of the month, and will be contributing to the Leek Arts Festival in 2011.

18.02.11   
Need a free website that doesn’t serve advertising? British Telecom is now offering UK charities and not-for-profit community groups its BT Community Web Kit, giving you a simple static web presence.


Added to Creative Stoke, 17th February 2011

17.02.11   
West Midlands artists who have Asperger’s Syndrome are invited to submit artwork for a small-scale exhibition at Solihull’s G2 Gallery, to be staged in April 2011. The work submitted can be on any theme and in any medium. The organisers welcome artwork that reflects the experience of living with AS, but this is not a requirement. There is no submission fee. The closing date for exhibition entries is:  25th February 2011. For further information and a submission form please contact Claire Hickey at:  chickey@solihull.gov.uk

17.02.11   
Peak Directions have a full and wide-ranging roster of business training events scheduled for 2011. Those in the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Peak District can choose from a range of training events. Including ‘Short Film Production’ and ‘Adobe InDesign Basics’.

17.02.11   
The Birmingham and Midland Institute is holding the art history conference “Drawing and the Victorian Artist” on 18th – 19th March 2011. The conference will examine the wider contexts of drawing in the nineteenth century, including the training of artists, the making and collecting of works on paper, and changing approaches to drawing at the beginning of the twentieth century. Tickets cost £30 for one day, £40 for both days (students £20 one day, £35 both days), inc. lunch and a private viewing of the “The Poetry of Drawing: Pre-Raphaelite Designs, Studies and Watercolours” exhibition (happening next door at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s Gas Hall). To book call please email:  admin@bmi.org.uk

17.02.11   
There’s an event over in the East Midlands that seems unusual enough to mention here. Nottingham is having a “Monster Make Up: the nuts and bolts of make-up in horror films” event on 24th February 2011. Speakers/demonstrators will include: director Simon Hunter (Lighthouse, Mutant Chronicles); prosthetic and special effects (SFX) make-up designer Paul Hyett (The Descent 1 & 2, Red Riding trilogy); and BAFTA-nominated make-up designer Jacqueline Fowler (Hunger, Harry Brown, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll). Tickets cost £26. More details at the Talent Network.

17.02.11   
The Adopt a Composer scheme should be open for 2011 applications in May 2011. The Adopt a Composer scheme pairs local amateur choirs, orchestras, and ensembles with a composer for one year. It is funded by the PRS for Music Foundation, and is run by Making Music and Sound and Music. It’d be great to see one of the many music groups in the Potteries getting one of these major opportunities to create new music.

17.02.11   
Added to the Directory: Paul Horton, a Staffordshire artist.


“A Brief Moment in Time”.

17.02.11   
Veteran Stoke band The Queensbury Rules have decided to call it a day, after 17 years and over 500 live shows. Their last gig will be at The Forum Theatre, Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, on Saturday 19th February 2011. This Saturday show will be a two and half hour retrospective. The band are also working on a final record, the The Six Towns E.P., featuring seven brand-new songs recorded to celebrate the centenary of the federation of Stoke-on-Trent. This should be out in October — more details later in the year.


Added to Creative Stoke, 15th February 2011

15.02.11   
Staffordshire Festival of Performing Arts will be a brand new festival dedicated to the performing arts. The dates are 8th-11th May 2011, and the festival will be covering the four main disciplines including music, film, drama and dance. The 11th of May will be a day dedicated to film, held at the Stoke Film Theatre art-house cinema at Stoke-on-Trent. If you are interested in submitting either a short or feature-length film please email Emma Fox a link to an online copy, plus your contact details, at:  staffordshirefestival@gmail.com

15.02.11   
Application forms for Staffordshire’s Heritage & Arts Funding Arts Grants Scheme 2011/12 will be available from 21st February 2011.

15.02.11   
Shugborough has announced its 2011 lunchtime lectures series. Including Chris Copp on Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service, taking on 6th July 2011 about “Play, Clothes, Health and Shoes: the new community galleries at the County Museum”.

15.02.11   
Job:  Paintings in Hospitals is seeking a Regional Co-ordinator to support the development of its loan schemes in the West Midlands. This is a freelance job, at an estimated four hours per week. The role may include some evenings and weekends. For a full job description please email:  mail@paintingsinhospitals.org.uk

15.02.11   
The Shelton Hospital (South Staffordshire & Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust) in Shrewsbury is seeking an unpaid artist-in-residence to create more of a creative buzz in their occupational therapy centre. They are offering a well-lit ground-floor space that would be ideal as an artist’s studio. The successful artist would be obliged to provide an agreed number of art sessions for patients, carers and staff (to supplement, not to replace existing provision). Expressions of interest should be made in the first instance to Jessica Kent, Arts for Health Co-ordinator, Shelton Hospital:  jessica.kent@sssft.nhs.uk

15.02.11   
SkillSet’s craft and technical wing has announced a change to the craft and technical bursaries. These are open to people working in TV broadcasting. The bursaries will now allow applicants to select their own courses, so long as they fall within the funding criteria.

15.02.11   
The government has announced a proposed “Community Right to Reclaim”, under which members of the public would be able to force local Councils and other organisations to sell disused buildings to community trusts or social enterprises….

“By the summer, a new one-stop [online] shop will provide citizens with information about empty land and buildings they can develop to improve their local area.”

The website will probably be along the lines of Landshare and SparePlace. This new community power would seem to have obvious implications for those seeking to find new creative industries uses for disused heritage buildings that are situated in strong communities. There will also be an accompanying “Community Right to Challenge”, allowing people to take over specific poorly-performing services provided by local councils or their subcontractors, a power that may even have implications for creative industries support-services.

15.02.11   
Are you able to offer one-off arts workshops for individuals and small groups? The School of Everything is a rapidly developing open UK directory of such teachers.